Heather L. Stansbury
Introduces Shakespeare's career as dramatist, with study of representative comedies, tragedies, romances, and history plays.
For SUMMER 2007: “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet / Are of imagination all compact.” So says Theseus at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For Summer quarter, we will be examining the notions of madness, love, and the poetical figure in the works of Shakespeare. We will read texts that explore altered states of consciousness, the power of sexual jealousy on the psyche, feigned and true insanity, and the implications of these illusions and realities in Shakespeare’s dramas. We will be focusing much of our discussions on the themes of desire and sexuality as offered in Shakespeare’s works. We will also be working with modes of production, including film and art, and will be seeing a stage performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays. The main goals of the course are to help you learn to “decode” the language of Shakespeare through close readings and to make you more confident readers of the great Bard. In addition, we will negotiate the difference between the works as they perhaps might have been understood in Shakespeare’s own culture and how they have been understood since. As this is a W course, you will be expected to write. Text: David Bevington, ed., The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 5th ed.
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